Cooking for Farmer Bob: A Birthday Dinner of Historical Significance
I was renting a house on Seattle's Capitol Hill with three friends. It was at the corner of Belmont and Republican, just a few blocks off Broadway and close to many of my favorite haunts, including the DeLuxe Tavern. Outside of the pimps doing their nightly business from the apartment building across the street, it was an OK neighborhood to live in.
As a 22-year-old, my cooking repertoire was somewhat limited, having lived in a college dorm and then in a house of four young women with wide ranging culinary skills. It seems the biggest workout our kitchen got was from Mary Jo, who had the longest tresses of the bunch. Since we only had one main bathroom with a claw foot tub (and no shower), MJ could often be seen shampooing her hair in the big sink amidst the dirty pots and pans on the kitchen counter. Too bad I have no photo documentation of this time in my life, but it's still alive in my fading Technicolor memory.
The first dinner I cooked for Bob at the Belmont house was Beef Stroganoff. I don't recall the recipe I used, probably from my Betty Crocker Cookbook, but it took me a big chunk of the day to shop for and prepare the romantic meal (complete with candlelight). And no, I didn't use one of those Beef Stroganoff mixes -- it was all from scratch. I think Bob was pretty impressed.
Several years ago I made him a very fancy Beef Stroganoff for Valentine's Day: Saute de Boueuff a la Parisienne (Beef Saute with Cream and Mushroom Sauce), from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. This time, I'm going with something a bit simpler and easier to make. After all, it's a Monday night!